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‘Prosperity gospel’ tagged as big obstacle to spread of Christianity in Asia

A Catholic Church leader in Asia warned that the growing influence of the so-called “prosperity gospel” in the region has become “a very big obstacle” for the spread of Christianity.

In his message for the observance of Pentecost Sunday, Cardinal Charles Maung Bo of Yangon said “the Holy Spirit has received bad press” from those who claim to be “anointed churches.”

He said most “prosperity gospel” preachers “abuse the Holy Spirit” by indulging in prophesies and speaking in tongues and claiming to have been empowered by the Holy Spirit.

The Catholic Church on Sunday, May 31, observed Pentecost, a feast that celebrates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles of Jesus 50 days after his resurrection.

The Church teaches that Pentecost Sunday is celebrated to recognize the gift of the Holy Spirit, realizing that God’s very life, breath and energy live in those who believe.

Even as he stressed the need of the Catholic Church “to regain the power of the presence of the Holy Spirit,” Cardinal Bo said the so-called “prosperity gospel” teaches believers to “escape” from reality.

Cardinal Bo said “mega pastors” who preach in “mega churches” understand the condition of the people who want to escape from poverty “and the feeling that their lives were leaky buckets.”

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Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.”  Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.